Risks of disease from microbial pathogens in food can be predicted more quickly
BfR Communication No. 025/2020 of 02 June 2020
The ‘Food Safety Knowledge Markup Language (FSK-ML)’ format allows to uniformly document mathematical models and model-based simulation results, and make these available to other researchers for computer-based forecasts or further optimisation of models. With FSK-ML, even models which were developed in different programming languages can be exchanged in a harmonized format. For the first time, it is possible to integrate suitable models from other scientists into in-house calculations, simulations and assessments at the push of a button. Also, simulation results are transparent to others, as the used software code and all model parameters are visible to everyone and thus, results can be recalculated.
The FSK-ML information exchange format, which was extended and tested by the BfR under the AGINFRA+ project (2017-2019), allows to better and more quickly assess human health risks in the future. This means that previously developed predictive models can now quickly be calculated with different simulation scenarios and adapted to fit the issue at hand – whether it concerns the risk of salmonella in fresh eggs, or a possible transmission of Campylobacter germs from raw chicken breast fillet to green salad in the kitchen.
The new FSK-ML data standard also makes it easier for researchers to make their results available in accordance with the FAIR data principles (findability, accessibility, interoperability and reusability). In particular, the support of the FAIR data principles means that data and information can be found, accessed and used by different software solutions in a long-term manner.
With the development of the FSK-ML information exchange format, the BfR provides the basis for the future digitalisation of risk assessment. With FSK-ML, software developers in the food safety domain can now easily expand their current and future tools to include new functions for importing and exporting models. FSK-ML also represents the basis for the development of web-based model databases, where researchers from different disciplines can search for established models or even share their own models. One example of such a model database is the ‘RAKIP_portal’ (https:/
The use of FSK-ML models on one’s own computer is for example possible by the open source software named “FSK-Lab” (https:/
Moreover, there are already scientific journals, such as the Food Modelling Journal (FMJ) (https:/
Further information on the BfR website
About the BfR
The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the German federal government and German federal states (“Laender”) on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.
This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.